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Pablo Vázquez-Ruiz (center) leads a tour of the Portugués Dam project for a group of engineering students from the American Concrete Institute, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.  As president of the Association of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico, Vázquez-Ruiz places a high priority on continuing education and on encouraging students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Pablo Vázquez-Ruiz (center) leads a tour of the Portugués Dam project for a group of engineering students from the American Concrete Institute, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. As president of the Association of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico, Vázquez-Ruiz places a high priority on continuing education and on encouraging students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. (Photo by USACE)

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Posted 10/4/2013

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By Jean Pavlov
Jacksonville District


Pablo Vázquez-Ruiz, south Puerto Rico resident engineer, has been elected as president of the Ponce Chapter of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR in Spanish acronym) as well as treasurer of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico. Vázquez-Ruiz has been resident engineer for the Ponce Resident Office since April 2001.

Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Vázquez-Ruiz graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, with honors, and a master’s degree, Magna cum Laude, in business administration from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.  He joined the Corps of Engineers in 1979.

The Ponce CIAPR promotes the development and defense of the engineering and land surveying professions for the welfare of the people of Puerto Rico, encouraging the study of the profession as a vocation and competent practice based on its professional code of ethics. 

Concerning his vision for the Ponce CIAPR for this year, Vázquez-Ruiz said his main focus is innovation of the service rendered and the fiscal processes of the institution as a whole.  He plans to enhance the chapter’s web portal and to add Flickr and YouTube pages.  For the past two years, Vázquez-Ruiz worked with the Board of Directors of the Ponce CIAPR as chapter secretary and created and maintained the website, currently visited by about 2,500 people a month.   

“Within that agenda of work, our highest priority is continuing education,” said Vázquez-Ruiz.  “Without a doubt, better trained professionals render better service to our community.”

As resident engineer who oversees the Portugués Dam project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and as president of the CIAPR, Vázquez-Ruiz has the unique opportunity to advance CIAPR mission goals as well as the Corps’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pathway goals. The Corps supports STEM education, to help keep the United States competitive as economic and technological leaders in the global marketplace, and support the Department of Defense and U.S. Army in national security. The Corps is committed to teaming with others to strengthen STEM-related programs that inspire current and future generations of students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

 “The South Puerto Rico Resident Office is dedicated almost exclusively to the construction of this $215 million project,” said Vázquez-Ruiz of Portugués Dam. Throughout the construction, the South Puerto Rico Resident Office has sponsored many field trips for engineering students, professional engineering organizations and civic groups. “The project has undoubtedly created great interest on the island since its start, because it is one of the largest and more challenging engineering and construction endeavors in this century,” he explained.  “It has been a great source of education and stimulus for engineering students and for professional engineers as approved continued learning points by the CIAPR.”

“I have provided six professional seminars and field trips for professional engineers,” said Vázquez-Ruiz.  “In the case of engineering students, I have received more than 12 groups from the three engineering schools on the island; the most recent was the engineering student chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. This kind of activity will increase as we approach project completion by the end of this year.”

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